DELTONA, FL Nov 26 2016-- More than 19 hours after the search began, deputies arrested a man they say shot and killed a Volusia County Sheriff's Office K-9 officer.
Sheriff Ben Johnson said that the K-9 officer, named Forrest, was shot while responding to a call about a fleeing suspect. Forrest was rushed to DeLand Animal Hospital, but couldn't be saved, officials said.
Deputies identified the man as 34-year-old Eddie Powell, a transient in the area.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Powell is charged with use of a deadly weapon against a police dog, two counts of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and failure to register a motor vehicle.
The man was shot multiple times by a Seminole County deputy, deputies said. He was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Powell hid in the woods near Vann Park while close to 200 law enforcement officers conducted a manhunt that spanned through Tuesday night and into Wednesday afternoon, deputies said.
Johnson said during a press conference following the arrest that Powell at one point was hiding and that officers almost stepped on him before Powell jumped out and reached for his firearm. A handgun was recovered from the scene after Powell's arrest.
Authorities said they spotted Powell for a minute around 8 a.m. Wednesday, but lost him while switching helicopters.
Two helicopters were involved in the suspect hunt Tuesday night. One was spotted circling with a search light activated. Two flash bangs were also heard.
Deputies said it's still unclear why Powell ran from them in the first place, but just glad he's in custody.
Tuesday's order of events when deputies were in the area looking into a tip from Crime Stoppers about a wanted fugitive.
The fugitive wanted for violating her probation was not home.
As investigators lingered outside the house, Powell drove by recklessly on a white dirt bike, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.
When a deputy tried to stop Powell, he took off, authorities said. Investigators didn't go after him, the sheriff said. A short time later, Powell drove by recklessly again, and disappeared again. The dirt bike was later found nearby, according to deputies.
As deputies contacted people inside the house, where they believed the fugitive was, they heard someone jumping over fences, the sheriff said.
Deputies set up a perimeter, and the Sheriff's Office Air One helicopter spotted Powell in a nearby wooded area, officials said. Forrest was tracking the man when the man opened fire, prompting deputies to return fire, according to officials.
Powell's prior criminal history includes armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during a commission of a crime, according to the Jenkins County Sheriff's Office in Millen, Georgia.
He was released from prison two or three years ago, officials said.
In Florida, killing a police dog is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Forrest is the ninth K-9 unit to die from gunfire this year in the U.S., according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which records the deaths of law enforcement officers and their police dogs.
The last time a K-9 unit was shot to death in Florida was on January 2013, when Koda was killed in Leon County. Koda was shot while pursuing a man fleeing from police, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.